This is the World's Coolest Christmas Tree [VIDEO + LIVE]

by Knowlton Thomas | Culture

Have you ever heard of a Christmas tree powered by the holiday spirit?

Probably not. And that would be because such a tree never existed. Until now, that is. Canadian Tire has created the first spirit-powered Christmas tree and it's pretty damn cool. Over at Toronto's Union Station, this 30-foot, 3,000-light Christmas tree is like no other; it reacts in real-time to Canada's holiday spirit.

How does it work? First, Canadian Tire leverages the technology of Sysomos, a social media monitoring tool, to track blogs and social network content containing a variety of holiday keywords such as "reindeer" and "elf." Then, a sentiment analysis is performed to gauge if the content is positive or negative. Next, the positive themed content is translated into numeric data. This data is then transmitted to the tree. From there, progammable chips embedded in each individual light bulb read the data. Finally, these light bulbs react to the data—shining brighter or dimmer, and in different colours, based on volume and nature of Canada's Christmas spirit.

White lights represent social networks, while red lights represent blogs and forums. Blue lights represent messages from Christmas Spirit Tree and green lights represent news articles.

“At this time of the year, everyone’s talking about holiday spirit. We wanted to show it,” says Rob Shields, Senior Vice President, Marketing, Canadian Tire. “Canadian Tire is thrilled to see the Christmas Spirit Tree come to life and celebrate the joy of the holiday season with all Canadians.”

Canadian Tire's choice of visualizing the Christmas spirit is fitting, because 93% of Canadians feel that putting up their Christmas tree is the best way to spark the spirit. You can watch the tree live over at Christmas Spirit Tree.

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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